The small plane that was carrying footballer Emiliano Sala and the pilot was recovered by a team off the coast of Guernsey in the English Channel and his family is relieved to have some closure. Sala had just said goodbye to his former team in Nantes, France and was flying to meet with his new football club in Cardiff, Wales when the pilot stopped responding to the tower.
Stuff New Zealand is reporting that the Premier League footballer’s plane was found late this morning local time in a search which was organized privately through a GoFundMe page according to marine scientist David Mearns who led the dive to locate and recover the craft from the water in the English Channel.
Mearns posted on Twitter that in their first search attempt, they located the plane.
“Wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and piloted by David Ibbotson was located early this morning by the FPV MORVEN. As agreed with the AAIB they moved the GEO OCEAN III over the position we provided them to visually identify the plane by ROV.”
Mearns added that the AAIB will make an official statement tomorrow, but that Sala and Ibbotson’s families have been notified, and they feel relieved. There will now be a full investigation into what caused the plane to go down.
Wreckage of the small plane carrying the Argentine soccer striker Emiliano Sala and his pilot, David Ibbotson, has been found in the English Channel, a shipwreck hunter said on Sunday https://t.co/C7mkRIJgPA
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) February 3, 2019
The Piper Malibu was making the trip across the English Channel when they hit bad weather and went off the radar two weeks ago. The official search ended when it was determined that nobody could have survived this length of time in the cold and rough seas.
The 28-year-old striker’s life is being celebrated around the world, but particularly in France and Wales where he has a significant fan base.
The Inquisitr reported that Sala had just signed a lucrative contract worth $19.3 million with the Cardiff City club and was excited about this next chapter in his career. Fans and soccer players from the league contributed generously to the fundraiser which allowed a team to locate and retrieve the small plane from the water north of Guernsey near the western French coast.
Mearns announced his plans last night for the search efforts which he narrowed down to a four-square-nautical-mile area about 24 miles north of the Channel Island. While the Sala family is still in shock, they are grateful to all who donated and sent out their good wishes for a successful search.